Football, football and then the French Open Final

These all bring light to my life over and above the pleasure I am lucky enough to experience in my daily work. Watching Nadal and Djokovic in the rain I was reminded yet again how sport at any level is a competition against oneself.

It is a matter of regulation and containment of our internal processes and emotions as well as a focusing and sharpening of muscle memory.

Did Nadal “win” the match? My view is that Djokovic “lost” it. He was clearly fighting an internal battle which culminated in him literally beating himself with his racket, not a happy sight to witness.

The question in my mind was whether he would be able to reorganise his internal mind-set and recapture that incredible synergy which has led him to win so many Grand Slams in the last year. In the end he experienced what seemed to be an internal collapse culminating in that last double fault.

My issues with Djokovic are almost certainly unfair but I must admit to memories of the tragic Bosnian war in the 90’s.

These were stimulated each time he grimaced and brandished his fists to the heavens. Focused anger can win tennis games, yet as Djokovic showed, when the anger empties out what is left is shame and a loss of power and direction. Anger “against” relies upon the cooperation of the other party and is ultimately unstable. History shows that anger on a national/cultural level, anger which is formed “against” others is based on fear and insecurity and can lead to national tragedy.

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